Overhead of a large serving platter of heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink frosting for valentine's day.

Celebrate love with our irresistible Valentine’s Day sugar cookie recipe! These cookies deliver a perfect blend of buttery goodness and a hint of vanilla that will melt your sweetheart’s heart. The dough is incredibly forgiving, making it a breeze for even novice bakers to create these heart-shaped treats. Embrace the magic of homemade goodness and make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable with our tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe – because nothing says “I love you” like a plate full of delicious, made-with-love cookies!

Overhead of two sizes of heart cookies with pink icing and white sprinkles.

What makes sugar cookies flatten out?

If your Valentine’s Day sugar cookies are spreading and flattening out, there are a few things you can tweak to fix it:

  • Don’t skip the chilling step. The cookie dough absolutely needs to be chilled in order for the cookies to hold their shape.
  • Use cool cookie sheets. Either let your baking sheets cool for a few minutes or run them under cool water and dry them before filling them with more cookies to bake. Warm or hot cookie sheets will make the cookies spread more!

What do I need to make these sugar cookies?

If you bake regularly, you probably have everything you need already:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract. If you want to mix things up, we’ve gotten delicious results from replacing part or all of the vanilla extract with peppermint, coconut, or almond extracts!
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
Close view of sugar cookie hearts piled high with pink frosting and white sprinkles.

Do you have to refrigerate sugar cookie dough before rolling?

Yep, you definitely cannot skip this step. Chilling the dough helps your sugar cookies hold their shape, and keeps them from spreading in the oven. If you want your Valentine’s Day sugar cookies to look like hearts or whatever other cookie-cutter shape instead of puffy blobs, you have to stash the dough in the fridge for a while.

What is the best way to roll out sugar cookie dough?

Typically, people will flour their work surface and rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. But we prefer to use powdered sugar—it still helps the dough roll out smoothly while also absorbing into the dough. That way, you don’t end up with powdery flour residue on your cookies!

We recommend rolling your cookies between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick, but consistency is more important than the precise thickness. As long as each cookie is roughly the same thickness, they will bake up evenly!

Protip: Re-roll your scraps!

Don’t let those dough scraps go to waste! You can roll them out again to cut out more cookies. If it feels like you are spreading softened butter instead of rolling out dough, re-chill the cookie dough scraps before rolling them back out.

Top view of a pile of valentine's day sugar cookie hearts in two sizes topped with pink icing and white sprinkles.
Celebrate

Frosting and decorating Valentine’s Day sugar cookies

There are three choices for icing sugar cookies: royal icing, buttercream frosting, and powdered sugar glaze. The really intricate designs you’ve probably seen on social media call for royal icing, which can be fussy to use and requires more skill. 

Our favorite sugar cookie icing is a simple powdered sugar glaze. It is easy to tint, flavor, and use—just spread the icing to the edge and top with festive sprinkles. The icing dries hard enough to stack, but not so hard that it is difficult to bite into!

How far in advance can you make decorated cookies?

Your iced Valentine’s Day sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. We recommend using parchment paper or wax paper in between the cookies to keep them from sticking to each other.

You can also freeze the baked cookies if they haven’t been iced yet! Freeze the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid, and then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag. Use within three months.

While iced sugar cookies taste just fine after freezing, the icing tends to crack and lose its shine. We recommend waiting to decorate your frozen cookies once they are defrosted. 

Close view of pink icing on a heart-shaped sugar cookie with white sprinkles.
Overhead of a large serving platter of heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink frosting for valentine's day.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies Recipe

Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 28 minutes

These Valentine's Day sugar cookies are sure to make your loved ones smile. And don't worry about the decorating—we kept it simple as can be!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or coconut or almond extract)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sugar cookie icing dyed pink, red, or whatever color you want
  • Valentine's Day sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer. Mix in eggs and extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter in batches, stirring until well combined.
  3. Divide dough into four equal pieces, shape into discs, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge, or 20 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Remove one disc from the fridge and roll the dough out on a floured surface until the dough is 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  6. Cut with cookie cutters (we recommend hearts of course!) and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, watching closely. Cookies are done when bottoms are just barely golden. Remove cookies immediately from the baking sheet, and let cool completely on cooling rack before icing. Repeat with remaining dough, ensuring that the pans are cool to the touch before filling them with more cookie dough.
  7. Decorate with sugar cookie icing (keep it as white icing or add a few drops of food coloring to dye it) and sprinkles, as desired.

Notes

  • The standard way to roll out sugar cookies is to use additional flour, but you can also use powdered sugar. The powdered sugar absorbs into the cookie while it bakes and doesn't leave any flour residue.
  • Here's our sugar cookie icing recipe for when it is decorating time!
  • Make sure the cookies are cooled completely before icing.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 72 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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